Nigeria: Boko Haram's Bloodshed Continues

As Violence Escalates, Displaced Living in Squalid Conditions

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An official and priest of Nigeria’s Maidiguri diocese asks where is the freedom as its priests and people are displaced, and churches destroyed.

Speaking about the onslaught by terrorist group Boko Haram in the past two months, diocesan director of communications, Fr. Gideon Obasogie, said 185 churches in the Maiduguri Diocese were torched and 190,545 people displaced, reported Fides Tuesday.

Included in these figures for the diocese of Maiduguri are also some states of northern Nigeria: Borno, Yosbe and some areas of Adamawa.

Saying that the towns of Gwoza and Madagali had been under the tyrannical and despotic control of the terrorists for 60 days, Fr. Obasogie explained that not only are «our priests displaced,» but our «citizens, who were supposed to celebrate their independence as a free nation, were rather counting their losses and regrets as they had been reduced to the status of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.»

«Where is the freedom?» he asked.

In the diocesan territory, eleven cities have fallen into the hands of Boko Haram. Last month, local bishop, Msgr. Oliver Dashe Doeme lamented that the Islamist sect controls all 25 cities in northern Nigeria.

The director of social communications said, “It is over 30 days now that our Church communities in Gulak, Shuwa, Michika, Bazza (among others) were sacked by the callous attacks of the Boko Haram terrorists.»

Fr. Obasogie described the horrendous conditions in which displaced people are forced to live.

Sixty to seventy person people at a time, he noted, are welcomed in the homes of relatives and friends or in makeshift structures in Maiduguri, Mubi, Yola, Uba, Gombe, Biu and Damaturu.

Yet, the priest reflected that the “thought of the displaced people go to those who were unable to flee,” the elderly, sick, and even the young.

Yesterday, a regional summit was held in Niamey, Niger’s capital, to fight Boko Haram’s increasing influence, seen through its threatening Niamey’s neighbors, recently seen as Nigerian fundamentalists fired a rocket in the north of Cameroon killing seven people.

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